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Whedonesque - a community weblog about Joss Whedon
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May 13 2009

ABC's 'Castle': Exemplary TV. "Like the best works of popular culture, the ABC mystery-crime series Castle is both entertaining and edifying. It exemplifies an increasingly strong trend in the American culture: the use of grim, sensual, bizarre, disturbed, or perverse imagery and subject matter in works of popular art that promulgate positive values and attitudes."

Huh?

No, wait, I changed my mind -- Castle is exemplary TV because it teaches/enforces, "What is Good"? Morally speaking?

So, "Full House" must be this guy's Holy Grail.

[ edited by pat32082 on 2009-05-13 23:04 ]
So that explains why I'm not that in to Castle ;). Somehow this makes me so glad Dexter is such a considerable succes.

But seriously, I do think Nathan's character is a bit to straight to keep the show interesting. I hugely prefer the more goofball-y, irresponsible and jackass-y Shawn Spencer on Psych. (And while James Roday is really great, he is no Nathan Fillion, so it's not the acting but the writing that's to blame.) Psych's whole insistence on critical thinking is also a stronger moral message in my book ;).

Edited to add emoticons, I hate them, but here my funny/not that seriously meant statements could be read straight so easily (they're just not really funny and more or less what I really think, so that's not that surprising) that I think they were necissary.

[ edited by the Groosalugg on 2009-05-13 23:20 ]
That had a kinda creepy tone to it, like it was about to try to hand me a copy of the Watchtower or something. Who is this critic?
I didn't find it creepy. Then, I'm probably more conservative than most of the people who comment here, so I didn't find the moral language off-putting, but whatever. I thought the observations were certainly correct: the show goes out of its way to balance its messages, something that Joss has done in his shows as well. I really like Castle, and think Fillion is in his element in the show.

I think the point of the article was simply that it was nice that the show wasn't merely exploiting the violence, blood and sex, but that it was using it for narrative impact. That seems correct to me. Of course, I think Dexter does that as well, in its own way (though it probably is a little more exploitative).

In general, though, I think these kinds of moral interpretations of shows are subjective: the viewer sees what they want to see. I don't see any particular objection to moral relativism in the show, I just see writers who are using the show's themes to riff on their characters. It's what Joss does: the theme of the show mirrors something going on with the characters to reveal something about them, rather than just having them go through the motions. It's called good writing.

Admittedly, there's not nearly enough of that on network television, so I'm happy when I see it.
I think Castle is fantastic, and not just because of the Fillion. It's just damn good.
Needless to say i liked the tone of the review; looks like this is another show I'm missing instead of just not seeing.
While glad to see positive press for Dollhouse, I did wonder about the reviewer's moralising. The article is from Big Hollywood, founded by Conservative commentator Andrew Breitbart to expound on The Evils of Hollywood Liberals. As quoted in his Wikipedia entry:

"[Left-leaning Hollywood personalities] are uninteresting, they’re vicious, they’re vitriolic, they’re really, really not good people. I’m willing to say that on the record. You could probe them scientifically and anthropologically and prove that they’re not good people....[The Hollywood left] is a stale group of people who are recycling the same old bad ideas that don’t work. Why else would those people go to the stinky side?"

Breitbart provides a site where Mr Karnick is able expound on enjoying "grim, sensual, bizarre, disturbed, or perverse imagery and subject matter" because there's a Good Moral Lesson tacked on!

---So not where I'm coming from, but I'm glad the show has something for everyone. As we Evil Liberals say, "different strokes." (Or maybe "whatever..." while pondering Breitbart's wish to "probe" these folks.)

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